One Lovely Blog Award

First let me say, I’m freaking out a bit about 2 things today. First, I am so humbled to receive my first blog award by a fantastically impressive vlogger and blogger Nicki 911!  Thanks for the love girlfriend! And secondly, did you see #4 on my last post –  33 Random Things On My Life List ? Oh wow! I FINALLY WON A MAJOR AWARD!

I know this award will inevitably link us all together in a long chain of inspiration, life musings and humor and with this nomination comes great responsibility.

1) Link back to the blogger who nominated you. (she’s an amazing vlogger too!)

2) Paste the award image on your blog. (it’s so pretty)

3) Tell 7 facts about yourself. (o-kay!)

4) Nominate other blogs that you would like to give the award. (easy peasy)

5) Contact the bloggers that you have chosen and let them know about the award. (I love delivering good news)

7 FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I don’t like talking on the phone because the other person can’t see  enthusiasm, empathy or concerned faces.
  2. I embrace my ADHD – it helps with my creativity.
  3. I shamelessly promote my dreamlife moments Facebook page but for unselfish reasons.- Dreamlife Moments Facebook Page.
  4. I am not dramatic. I’m just passionate, confused, amazed or excited ALL the time!
  5. It seems I always run late.
  6. Ice cream is my weakness.
  7. I don’t like being trapped in the kitchen cooking.

And the nominees are, drum roll please!

Truth and Cake – what more could you want in a blog, really?

Really? Did That Just Happen in My Life? – twisty, hilarious writings about life and the questions you should ask yourself.

Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Kristen is a best-selling author. I followed her blog before I knew that!

White Elephant In The Room– Insightful, funny and she loves 80s music- ’nuff said.

Bucket List Publications – Lesley is the most adventurous blogger I virtually know.  Wanna jump out of a helicopter and ski?  she’s your gal!

Sweet And Weak – A guy’s thoughts about being a lone Y chromosome  in a world full of estrogen.

I have so many more amazing blogs that I love and will be highlighting them at some point. Until then, enjoy these!

Jaren’s First Cache Ever! (Misty Passage)

What is Geocaching?

First Cache Ever!

This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.

Geocache Name:  Misty Passage

Location:  Myrtle Beach, SC

Entrance to the tunnel on Ocean Blvd.

We had just moved to Myrtle Beach and I was anxious to see what kind of fun caches were hidden at the beach.  I logged on to Geocaching.com and found a cache named Misty Passage  less than half a mile from my house.

There are so many types of caches.  Ones that look like drainpipes, rocks, I’ve even seen caches that look like the bark on a tree.  This particular cache was a level 2 called a nano-cache (very tiny container).  All caches have a clue to help you locate the cache once you are in the vicinity.  The clue was  “Look above the turtle looking up.”  – I thought the cache might be near a pet store.  I jotted down the coördinates and my husband Byron and I headed out the door with our dog, Aissa.   I walked up and down the street trying to match my walking GPS with the exact spot that matched the coördinates, my husband spotted stairs that led to an underground tunnel connecting one side of the street to the other for safe crossing.
We entered the tunnel we were pleasantly surprised at what we found.  The tunnel is carpeted (although I’m not sure why) and painted in an aquarium theme.  Ahhh, turtles, now I get it.  There were many turtles painted on the walls along with sharks, whales, jelly fish, octopus and a few well drawn divers.  It’s a very cool little place and provides an interesting backdrop for a cache.

This should be easy, I thought.  The tunnel is not very long and there doesn’t seem to be many places to hide something.  We searched the brightly painted walls for turtles- they all of them seemed to be looking up.

Skyward looking turtle

But one turtle in particular was stretching his neck and looking straight up.  I was sure he held the secret to the nano-cache.  Above him was  light fixture.  “It must be up there.”  I pointed to the light and asked my husband to boost me up.  I reached up and felt along the top of the light, but found nothing.

We searched above other turtles in other light fixtures but without knowing exactly what you’re looking for, it’s harder to find it.  When a muggle would walk through the tunnel, we just pretended to look at the art work on the walls.  When they were out of sight, we’d start searching again.  It’s actually pretty fun being sneaky.  We searched for a long time.  I couldn’t believe that we did not find it- there isn’t much down there except two garbage cans and lights.  We left disappointed.

When I got home I checked the website again to make sure people were logging that they had found it- someone had found it just the day before so I knew it was still there.  But where?

Day after day, I walked Aissa  always stopping for a quick look.  Pretty soon,  I knew all the turtles by heart.  I’d walk up to each one and search around him.  I would jump up and down trying to see  above the light fixture to spot the cache.  If a muggle was coming, I’d stop jumping and pretend I was petting Aissa.  She always provides a good cover.

After almost a month of searching, still nothing.  I told my son Jaren, about the cache and he wanted to try to help me look for it.   So Byron and Jaren and I decided to take Aissa for a walk to the beach and stop in the tunnel along the way.

Checking every possible place

Jaren looked above the lights and crawled around a bit and came up empty-handed. What?! I couldn’t believe none of us could find this small, level 2 cache.

A few weeks passed with no luck.  One day while going to the beach Jaren, Byron and I headed for the tunnel.  I had not even bothered jumping up and down this time to look above the light.  It wasn’t there.  I walked over to my usual long-necked turtle and stared at him in dismay shaking my head.  What was he looking at?  Certainly not the nano cache.

Just then, I heard Byron say, “What do you have there Jaren?”  I turned around to see Jaren holding a very small- what looked like a tiny bolt.   He smiled and said,  “I think I’ve found it.”  – What!  I missed seeing another find because I was to fixated on that lying turtle!  But I ran over to Jaren just as he was unscrewing the cache!  He had found it!

I had never seen a nano cache before and didn’t realize how small it really was.  The turtle who kept the cache’s secret was not the one I was focusing on- he actually lived on the opposite wall.  The cache was a  hollow magnet that was fixed to the metal part of the light . Well played Mvillian, well played.

The turtle guarding the cache

Hiding place

Inside the cache were strips of rolled up papers each with the name of past geocachers.  I logged the find joining the other 715 finders of the Misty Passage Geocache!

Nano cache magnet

Team Aissa (Jaren) 3/9/12

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS GEOCACHE:

You already have all the tools needed to find what you’re searching for- just have patience, ask for help if you need too, and most importantly, never ever give up no matter how long it takes.

Slipperier When Wet – why tribute bands rock!

Last night I went to see a Bon Jovi tribute band called Slippery When Wet at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach.  I wasn’t expecting too much, after all I am a slightly obsessive Bon Jovi fan.  In fact, I remember the very moment I fell in love with Jon Bon Jovi.

~~~~~~ wavy reminiscent lines ~~~~~~

Bon Jovi circa 1985

The year was 1984. “I want my MTV!” was the chant of our rebellious generation.  The all-music channel had taken over our young lives and the introduction of the music video would change music forever.

A video called She Don’t Know Me was about to début – (the second single released from their début album Bon Jovi.) was about to be played on MTV.  I was lounging on the couch and decided to get up to grab a Pepsi and some Doritos.  (those were the days)  As I walked into the kitchen, the video started playing and it stopped me in my tracks.  I turned around to the most beautiful man I’d ever seen- with his long flowing permed hair, stone-washed jacket that beautiful teal shirt.  I hit the floor- literally, I sat down on the floor to get as close as I could to our Zenith floor model TV.  I will never forget that moment. Thinking back, that could have possibly been my first feeling of love at 13 years old.

~~~~~~ wavy present day lines ~~~~~~

We arrived at the House of Blues, bought our tickets and went up to the balcony.  My husband was content sitting in the balcony above the stage gazing down at the crowd.  WHAT?!   If I couldn’t see the real Bon Jovi live, then I was going to feel his music up close.  I agreed to sit with him only while the opening band played and warned him that I was going down to the floor, front and center with or without him.

As I watched the opening band perform, I peered over the balcony to the crowd below.  There was a good mix of fans ranging in age from 16 to 50.  I thought this spoke volumes about the staying power of  Bon Jovi’s music.   As soon as the opening band had played their last note, I jumped up- “Come on!”  I darted down the steps never looking back to see if my husband was behind me.  If nothing else, I was going to hear Jon’s music performed live and tonight, that was enough for me.

Jason Morey- vocalist Slippery When Wet

I made my way through the crowd until I was standing front and center when the curtain opened.  The familiar beats started and in one fluid motion, Jon Bon Jovi (aka Jason Morey) ran across the stage, grabbed the mic and with one hand pointing skyward, asked if we were ready to rock!  I stood motionless for a few seconds in awe of his stage presence.  I gave him a quick critique.  He had the haircut, the body and the clothes but could give a worthy performance?

They started off the night with the 2009 hit- We Weren’t Born To Follow and was immediately taken back by the way the band members were all in character from Richie Sambora (Anthony Cappolino) to “Tico” Torres (Brian John Martin) to Hugh McDonald (Brian Nielson).  Not only did Jason have the moves down, he sounded like JBJ too!  I was impressed!  He’d passed my test with flying colors!  After a few verses, I started belting out the words along with the crowd.

(L) Anthony Cappolino- Guitar and (R) Jason Morey- Vocalist Slippery When Wet

I felt my husband standing in the usual husband place- right behind me.  As I jumped up and down and danced,  I had no fear because I knew he was there to catch me if I stumbled (from excitement not from all the beer… yeah that’s it.) Once in a while, I’d spin around and sing a lyric or two to my husband- “Oh oh we’re half way there, Oh OH livin’ on a prayer, take my hand and we’ll make it I swear…”  then jump back around to face the band.  I did notice that my husband wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic as I was but I couldn’t let his slight disconnect keep me from being the best Bon Jovi fan I could be.

Jason, Anthony, Brian M. and Brian N. rocked us all!  Each song was met with more enthusiasm than the last.  I saw a few lighters in the sky, which really made me nostalgic.  The best part of the night was when Jon…err- Jason came over and sang to me (probably me), “You were born to be my baby and baby I was made to be your man.” I was flustered.  How could this be?! My mind knew it wasn’t really JBJ but my other senses didn’t seem to know that.  I was embarrassed at my giddiness and forgot the words to the song for a minute.  By end of the show, I was sweating and screaming like a groupie. I didn’t want it to end.  I wasn’t ready to return to 2012 just yet.

Slippery When Wet The Ultimate Tribute Band Brian John Martin — Drums, Anthony Cappolino — Guitar, Brian Nielson — Bass, Jason Morey– Vocals

In those short hours, I felt connected to 500 total strangers,  Some of whom could very well have stood next to me at a Bon Jovi concert in 1985- when hair bands ruled the world- when MTV was the only channel we wanted- when we rock-n-rolled all night and partied every day.  That night we were all together again- young and free.  Although nobody, and I mean NO-BOD-Y can ever make me feel like Bon Jovi, these guys are a close second to the sound, performance and passion of the band Bon Jovi.

For a diehard Bon Jovi fan or just a fan of really great rock music, Slippery When Wet, The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute is the total experience- totally.  In 2007 the band was officially authorized by Bon Jovi to perform their highly entertaining show.  The band’s drive, musical ability, showmanship and dedication to duplicating the Bon Jovi live experience simply cannot be outdone*

(reference: (http://slipperywhenwetband.com/about.htm)

Our First Cache Ever!

What is Geocaching?

First Cache Ever!

This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.

Geocache Name:  SQ – Harger Hill

Location:  Novi, MI

We liked the fact that the geocache was in a very old cemetery nearby.  We figured that we’d have a good chance to find the container in a fenced in area.  When we arrived, I was busy fiddling with my GPS  typing  in the exact coordinates while Byron darted off up the hill.  After a few minutes of not getting a signal, I heard a yell from the cemetery. “I found it!” – I was so mad at myself for trying to do everything in order, I had missed the find.  Grrr!

Byron  could already tell by my jealous pouting that this was going to be more of a competitive activity for us.  I was already keeping score in my mind.  Byron-1 Jennifer-0.   Drats!Byron ran down the hill with the waterproof, blue envelope in hand. Waving it at me like a trophy that I did not win.  Even though I was being a brat about the find, I decided to document the find anyway- for historical purposes.

BYRON’S FIRST GEOCACHE FIND.  CAN YOU SPOT IT’S HIDING PLACE? –LOOK UNDER THE TOMBSTONE TO THE RIGHT.  IT’S A LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE PEEKING OUT FROM THE BOTTOM.

INSIDE THE WATERPROOF POUCH WAS A NOTEBOOK TO SIGN AND AN INKSTAMP.
WE ADDED OUR GEOCACHE NAME (TEAM AISSA), DATE AND NOTED IT WAS OUR FIRST FIND! 

Since Byron found it, he got to open it first.  It’s such a rush knowing that someone left it to be found.  We noticed that a few people that very week had signed the log book.

NOTICE THAT THE LOG IS A SIMPLE NOTE PAD.  SOME CACHES HAVE KEYCHAINS OR TOY SOLDIERS.  IN THOSE CACHES THE RULE IS- TAKE SOMETHING, LEAVE SOMETHING.  AND NOTE YOUR FIND. YOU MUST PUT THE CACHE BACK EXACTLY WHERE YOU FOUND IT.

What are Muggles?

Muggles are people lurking around not associated with Geocaching.  You have to watch out for muggles when you play and be sure there are none around watching you re-hide the cache or they may take it and ruin the cache.

This is the ink stamp found in the cache.  We stamped the pad and decided after this cache to have our own ‘Team Aissa’ ink stamp made so we can leave our own mark.

It’s a rush to find a geocache.   There are more than 5 million geocachers worldwide and over 1.6 million caches hidden.  I feel like the Goonies when I embark on a hunt, careful not to let the muggles catch us looking for the prize. That can be tricky, especially if you’re walking around a CVS parking lot pretending to walk the dog…but she’s a good excuse to look under bushes- and it’s oh so fun playing Sherlock Holmes. Watch my very own first cache here!
Register for a geocache name at geocache.com !  We can share our caches and if you’re ever in Myrtle Beach, maybe even go on a hunt together!